Vitreous is a jelly-like clear membrane found at the back of the eye in the posterior chamber,the membrane is filled up with vitreous humor which is made up of 99% water ,however what is responsible for it’s jelly structure and firmness is the collagen fibrils which hold the membrane in place.
The primary function of the Vitreous humor is to help with image formation in the back of the eye also known as a refractive medium just like the aqeous humor ,the lens and the cornea.
Unlike the aqeous humour found in front of the eye which is watery vitreous humor is not .A condition whereby the fluid inside the vitreous humor becomes watery or liquifies is known as Vitreous syneresis.
This happen when the water content and other molecules of the Vitreous become separated such that the molecules are arranged together and seen as floaters and the water content flows with the vitreous pulling away from the retina.
Causes of Vitreous syneresis
The major cause of vitreous syneresis is old age usually above 50 years,the collagen fibers are weakened such that the bond to hold the Vitreous humor together are so weak that it’s content liquifies.
It can also at young age if one is predisposed to the following:
- Myopia (near-sightedness)
- Diabetes among others.
Symptoms of vitreous syneresis
The major symptoms involve include:
1. Floaters : this is discussed under complication of vitreous syneresis below.
2. Flashes of light like light from camera turning on and off suddenly.
Complications of Vitreous syneresis
- Posterior Vitreous detachment :One of the noticable complication of vitreous syneresis is Posterior Vitreous detachment,like we said earlier the vitreous humor is firm due to the collagen fibers however liquification of it’s content leads to it detachment from the back of the eye.
Posterior Vitreous detachment is characterized by floaters ,a worm-like movement in the eye when viewing a bright background e.g sky
- Retinal tear : There can be hole in the retina due to Vitreous syneresis
- Retinal detachment : A hole in the retina can eventually leads to retinal pulling away from the pigment epithelium and this can lead to blindness if not treated urgently.
Treatment of Vitreous syneresis
There is no specific treatment for vitreous syneresis as floaters reduce on their own however if the floaters are affecting vision,there is need to undergo Vitrectomy laser surgery which involve the removal of the vitreous humor and replaced with another solution
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